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PLP’s pledge on union relations

Teachers are not the only workers with cause for complaint over stalled pay negotiations, according to Progressive Labour Party MP Rolfe Commissiong.

The Opposition labour and workforce development spokesman issued a statement reflecting on the demonstration last Thursday, in which about 600 Bermuda Union of Teachers members marched on the grounds of the Cabinet Office.

The BUT said they are frustrated by a lack of progress in their contract negotiations.

Mr Commissiong said today: “The BUT was right to protest the length of time it has taken to secure a new collective bargaining agreement.

“But they are not alone. Every union in Bermuda which represents government workers are in the same unacceptable position.”

He pointed to slow progress establishing new collective bargaining agreements for the Bermuda Industrial Union and the Bermuda Public Services Union.

“While they go without a raise, inflation eats away at these members' stagnated salaries,” he said.

“They experience their standard of living, and that of their families, decline as the ruinous cost of living in the two Bermudas continues to erode the middle class.

“The Progressive Labour Party makes a firm commitment that as government we will establish a healthier relationship with our trade unions and enhance worker protections.

“We view our unions as valued stakeholders and public servants who make Bermuda work; and not as adversaries to be treated as if they are surplus to requirements.”

Responding to the march last Thursday, education minister Cole Simons said: “The BUT indicated that there had not been any meaningful progress since the last meeting between the two sides during the third week of March. It is important and in everyone's interest that we get negotiations back on track, especially since I consider that our teachers are our number one asset.”

Progressive Labour Party MP Rolfe Commissiong (File photograph)

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Published May 28, 2017 at 5:52 pm (Updated May 28, 2017 at 6:32 pm)

PLP’s pledge on union relations

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